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Battling with Buffalo Bill

5 customer reviews

Additional DVD options Edition Discs
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(Dec 04, 2007)
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Editorial Reviews

Gold is discovered in a small western town and the local gambler Jim Rodney plans to seize the strike by having the townspeople murdered or frightened away by Indians. To put his plan in motion, Rodney has an Indian woman murdered and steals the horses. When Buffalo Bill Cody and the US Cavalry appear things get a bit tricky. Rodney then goes to the second plan to have himself elected as town marshal. Of course, the election is rigged and Cody then takes on the task of bringing Rodney to justice while still fighting off the attacks by the Indians. Chapter Titles: 1. Captured by Redskins 2. Circling Death 3. Between Hostile Tribes 4. The Savage Horde 5. The Fatal Plunge 6. Trapped 7. The Unseen Killer 8. Sentenced to Death 9. The Death Trap 10. A Shot from Ambush 11. The Flaming Death 12. Cheyenne Vengeance. Bonus Features: Scene Selection, Trailers, Cowboy Montage Video Product Specs: DVD9; Dolby Digital; 217 minutes; B&W; 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio; MPAA NR; Year 1931; SRP - $29.99.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Tom Tyler, Franklin Farnum, Francis Ford, William Desmond, Chief Thunderbird
  • Directors: Ray Taylor
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: VCI Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: December 4, 2007
  • Run Time: 217 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000Y14U2O
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #136,317 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Battling with Buffalo Bill" on IMDb

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Richard J. Oravitz on March 16, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Congradulations to VCI Entertainment for releasing BATTLING WITH BUFFALO BILL (1931) an early Universal talking serial. The print used is EXCEPTIONAL and makes viewing a wonderful experience.
Tom Tyler is probably the best looking Buffalo Bill ever, complete with long hair, beard and buckskins! The action is fast and furious and serial fans should readily welcome this addition to their dvd libraries.
Jim Rodney played by Francis (director John's brother) Ford is after the gold near Hard Rock and ignites an Indian war to get it. Buffalo Bill, Dave Archer (future cowboy star and lieutenant governor of Nevada, Rex Bell) and John Mills (William Desmond, vetern Western and serial star) are the main good guys thwarting Rodney and his henchmen at every turn. Giving them a hand are stuntman Yakima Canutt as scout Jack Brady and usually bad-guy Ed Cobb as a good townsman. Pretty Lucile Browne (MYSTERY SQUADRON, LAW OF THE WILD) is Dave Archer's sweetheart, needing rescued every now and then, mostly by Buffalo Bill.
On the bad side of things Bud Osborne plays back-shooting Joe Tampas and George Regas plays a character named Breed, not unlike similar characters to appear in future Universal Western serials essayed by George Stevens (Snake-eye in WINNERS OF THE WEST,1940).
All said, this is a fine example of an early all-talking Western serial, a little crude and disjointed, but quite enjoyable and certainly action-packed! You not only get to see the same Indian shot off his horse at least six times during the 12 chapters but even again during the previews for THE OREGON TRAIL (1939), a Johnny Mack Brown serial!!!
This is really a fun time for fans, and again HATS OFF to VCI for releasing a great looking print of BATTLING WITH BUFFALO BILL!...Be sure to buy this one.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Lovins HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on December 13, 2007
Format: DVD
VCI Entertainment presents "BATTLING WITH BUFFALO BILL" (1931) (digitally remastered) --- Universal Studios 12 Chapters vintage serial loaded with thrilling drama and high adventure sequences featuring heroes and villains --- Story by Henry MacRae -- Suggested by "The Great West That Was" by William F. Cody (Buffalo Bill) --- Tom Tyler as the legendary Bill Cody (complete with long hair, mustache, buckskins, goatee--the whole nine yards) --- Tom battled Indians, badmen, and other pesky menaces on the studio lot for twelve chapters --- Interestingly, the head villain, a gambler out to take possession of a gold mine, was none other than Francis Ford, brother of Tyler's former and future director the great John Ford --- Filmed and released at the beginning of the sound era --- This serial lacked the polish of some of Tyler's later serials, but was a step above "PHANTOM OF THE WEST" (Mascot/1931) --- This would lead to three more serials with Universal --- Tyler was one of the great serial heroes plus one of the cliffhanger's most underrated actors.

Under the production staff:
Ray Taylor - Director
Henry MacRae - Producer
Ella O'Neill - Dialogue
George Plympton - Continuity
Alvin Todd - Film Editor
Chief Thunderbird - Indian Authority
Jack Foley - Synchronization
C. Roy Hunter - Recording Engineer

1. Tom Tyler (aka:Vincent Markowski)
Date of Birth9 August 1903 - Port Henry, New York
Date of Death: 3 May 1954 - Hamtramck, Michigan

2. Lucile Browne
Date of Birth: 18 March 1907 - Memphis, Tennessee
Date of Death: 10 May 1976 - Lexington, Virginia

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Stanley Kohl; on July 31, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"Battling with Buffalo Bill" is a 12-chapter All-Talking Universal serial, released in 1931, directed by Ray Taylor, with the story by Henry MacRae, "Suggested by 'The Great West That Was' by William F. Cody."

The citizens of Hard Rock send a wagon train back East to obtain a stamp mill to process their gold ore. John Mills (William Desmond), his daughter Jane (Lucile Browne) and her sweetheart Dave Archer (Rex Bell) hope this will allow them to make some money. But saloon owner Jim Rodney (Francis Ford) and his henchmen, wanting control of Hard Rock and its wealth, plot to wipe out Mills and his followers by stirring up the Cheyenne Indians, who attack the town. Fortunately Bill Cody (Tom Tyler) comes to the rescue with some troopers, and he has to come to the rescue many more times before Rodney is finally brought to justice.

This is a well-made serial for its time, with decent settings and costumes, though Lucile Browne often seems oddly dressed for trips into the wilds near Hard Rock. Rex Bell isn't much help, because he's not the title character, though Tom Tyler looks every inch the heroic Buffalo Bill. The dialogue isn't as bad as might be feared, even from Tyler, but the serial was made early in the sound era and for a modern audience the chapters seem long; no question that it was intended to be watched one chapter at a time. There is very little music anywhere, not even for the titles. And if the Cheyenne Indians aren't attacking it's the Blackfeet, in a pattern that should be familiar to those who have seen later Universal Western serials, though it doesn't seem quite as tired here. And yes, the Indian who gets shot off his horse is present at least every other chapter; he should get screen credit.
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